Project 89: Retention with Continued Growth II

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The main driver of the program for your business

In part one, I wrote about the soft ideas in putting together this Project 89 program. This post will focus on the main driver of the program. These are ideas for your review, for you to examine, tweak, test and reset to fit the needs of your business. Although these are only ideas, please know: I have been involved with player development for 18 years. Therefore, these are not just coming from an office laptop in a far-away city, these notions have been churned through and through over time. Although there are a variety of ways to grow the game, and then to retain golfers, the theme here is to help new golfers play, to move beyond the frustrations, and to help them improve for the long term. Shots struck well will bring us back to the first tee.

The idea of the title is: we can create a goal of getting golfers to break 90, a longtime key benchmark in the game.  For people just wanting to play for the fun of it, the goal to break 110 is another benchmark. We all realize the way to appeal to diners is through good food and personal service. The way to keep people excited about golf, I believe, is by working through frustration, learning a repeatable action, and having long term mentoring or coaching in order to keep people motivated, while helping them always find a game. Although this post may create as many questions as it proposes to answer, the secret sauce in maintaining the current status of rounds is by helping your golfers play well enough to keep them excited for their next round. Here are my highfives to help you maintain the growth:

  1. Create an instruction program that has no cost (in the beginning), or nominal costs for the first four months, through group instruction. In addition, help to provide clubs, and balls through vendor relationships
  2. Build a large instruction menu: include group, private, semi-private, seminars, “walking lessons on the course”, and playing lessons. Helping people play the game better is vital, I believe to any clubs’ success. To win, every department manager at the property should be involved in the program. This is not only an instruction program
  3. The instruction team should be paid also through actions & results. Although this involves the sensitive subject of how people get paid, the instructors should be rewarded for the rounds played, and dollars spent by the people they teach. Getting golfers to stay & play should become a team sport for the club. Every instructor and manager should meet regularly on the progress and activity of the students and their experience
  4. Recognize every benchmark of the new golfer. Once allowed, create monthly get togethers for your students, instructors, and managers to recognize your golfers for growth in performance. Make it FUN!
  5. Project 89 will require a change in the culture. In the past, teachers would teach, and pupils would hopefully learn and play. Every person here must have a stake. Every person must see the reward potential. This program is asking all to put a dynamic program in place: to communicate, to praise, and the instruct pupils on the game of a lifetime. You will need help from HR, cooperation from the professionals, and every manager to be all-in for the benefit of pupil, and the property for long term success.

In addition, I suggest you develop a program to teach every person on your staff the game of golf. Although few may stick with it, teaching people about the game will enhance their understanding as well as develop their empathy and knowledge. Project 89 came out of reading an article about the amazing success of golf in late spring. It also came from fear. Fear that these new & returning golfers will go back to old routines, routines that do not include golf. As the quote above, from my friend suggest, we all look forward to playing the game, when we play better. Contact me with your thoughts. Thank you.


Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. When you want to improve your team & your business contact Jack. Reach Jack at: 407-973-6136, or at Jack lives in Orlando.

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